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Posts tagged ‘travel’

Green Like the Irish |Our Travels

We just got back from the most epic trip to Ireland and London, 2 weeks of no work, no thinking about work, and plenty of great laughs, experiences, Guiness and yorkies! (the chocolates, not the dogs). We started off by flying to Cork from London, where we hired a car and drove through Country Cork (via Blarney Castle where I kissed the Blarney Stone – rather nerve wracking I must admit) to the Beara Peninsula, one of the very scenic parts of south-west Ireland.

Blarney Castle

About to kiss the Blarney Stone

Castletownbere is the tiny town overlooking Bantry Bay, but that wasn’t our final destination. We then loaded our car onto the ferry and boated across the bay to Bere Island, a 4km by 10km knoll home to about 200 people, and the birthplace and childhood home of Ed’s dad, Steve.

Bere Island is a classic example of old-world, rural Ireland: plenty of intense green vegetation, much of it overgrown; many tiny slate & mortar houses, some of which have fallen into ruin, but which made for great contemplation and interesting photos; incredible coastal views, walks and bike tracks which allowed us beautiful hikes and excursions, and of course a very interesting heritage. The island was a place of great importance during the early 20th century, and was a naval base for the English during WW1.

Classic scene in Ireland

O'Sullivan Bar

Cycling on Bere Island

Gnoming Around

Slate & Mortar House

Another Guiness

Bere Island

Charlie Chaplin

Birds in the Tower

Kerry Woolen Mills in Kilarney

Anyway, after a few days of lounging around, eating Irish stew and drinking Guinness, and of course – enjoying the very long summer evenings! – we then headed to Kilarney, drove around the Ring of Kerry, bought an authentic Kerry woollen jersey and hopped on a train to Dublin. Which was Something Else.

We arrived at Dublin train station and caught the Luas tram to O’Connell Street, the most famous street in Dublin and home to the original Post Office Building, where all the action during the Easter Rising took place. We finally worked out which bus to catch into Drumcondra where our BnB was located and then flopped dead tired for a sleep & shower. Not for long though – The Temple Bar was calling! This famous part of Dublin is home to about 900 pubs, bars & restaurants, and on a Saturday night is normally quite wild. With a beautiful evening ahead of us, pink lippy & leather jacket sorted, we headed into Dublin’s hotspot.

And what an evening! We had arrived in Dublin in the middle of the Pride Parade, so there were THOUSANDS of people crammed into the small cobbled streets. We eventually found an O’Sullivan pub, where we settled down for a Guinness and authentic Irish music – was amazing!

Colmainham Gaol, Dublin

The Ireland Republic

The Temple Bar, Dublin

O'Sullivan pub in Dublin

Green Leprechaun

After a night of good fun & laughs, we were up early for a full Irish breakfast (including black pudding) and then headed into Dublin for a hop-on-hop off bus tour where we visited Trinity College and saw The Book of Kells, walked around St Stephens Green, did the Guinness Storehouse tour and saw how the black stuff is made, toured Colmainham Gaol (really interesting insight into some of the most tumultuous times of Irish history) and landed back at O’Connell for some last minute trinket shopping.

Then it was time to fly to London. And so the adventures continued! More photos coming soon x

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I Left my Heart in Paris | French-Inspired Moodboard

I’ve been to Paris once. Just 2 magical days at the age of 17… I was on a school-age group doing a contiki type tour through Europe (thanks to our wonderful parents for sending us off to experience the world!), and one of our last stops before London was Paris.

The Champs Elysses, the Arc De Triomphe, the Artist’s Quarter, MontMartre, and of course…the Eifel Tower. We lay underneath and gazed upwards, overindulged on chocolate crepes while goggling at the quick strokes of artists pens, ran through the streets at midnight just to get a glance at the Glass Pyramid of the Louvre and woke groggy eyed to visit EuroDisney

Memorable, beautiful and always passionate, Paris is a city that sticks in your mind – the food, the fashion, the flavour, the language – it’s just an incredible city. Bring a little taste of Paris into your own life, your wardrobe or your home with some classic French-flair – check out The Good Girls Guide’s moodboard for ideas 🙂

I Left my Heart in ParisI Left My Heart in Paris Again

All images curated from Pinterest.

Cities to Visit and Dream About | Travel Inspiration

I’ve been blessed to travel a bit in my life, and have been so inspired by some of the cities I’ve had the opportunity to visit. It’s the memories that I really cherish that also makes them special to me – so when I see them on TV or in a movie or in a photo – I go, ‘Hey, I’ve been there!’

It’s a pretty cool feeling! I decided to share an Inspirational post today – Cities to visit (or perhaps just Dream about)Be inspired to travel, make memories and explore our world…

From The Good Girls Guide, a collection of amazing photos of cities I’ve personally visited or lived in… And if you’ve been to any, or want to share an incredible travel experience, let us know:

Beautiful Prague

Beautiful Prague | source here.

Vibrant Little Amsterdam

Vibrant Little Amsterdam | source here.

Magical Mayhem in New York City

Magical Mayhem in New York City | source here.

Irish Boston

Irish Boston | source here.

From Paris with Love

From Paris with Love | source here.

My Cape Town

My Cape Town | source here.

Letting Go of Your Adventurous Spirit: Travel Tips for the Good Girl

We all have that sense of adventure that pervades our very soul at odd times: you’re sitting on the loo and a poster on the back of the door shows a gorgeous Seychelles beach…and you want to go; a song comes on the radio about the wild wild west, next thing you want to be roadtripping across the United States on the back of a Harley Davidson.

Face it, we all would love to travel more. But for most of us, we have the constraints of money and time. 15 days leave a year does not leave much for debate, other than Christmas with the family and a mid-year gallavant to the Knysna Oyster Festival!

The good news is that with clever planning – you can arrange a trip that will meet your adventurous spirit head on, keep you within budget and indeed – leave you a few long weekends throughout the year. Keep reading.

Top Tips to Clever Travel Planning:

1.) DESTINATION

This will eliminate a whole bunch of places (ie: the deserts of Mongolia and the Durban south coast in December).

  • Decide local or international (Garden Route or Thailand)
  • Decide type of experience (beach, safari, city explore, nature, countryside)
  • Decide coast or inland (Sydney or Prague)
  • Decide one place or multiple spots (Paris for 7 days or Europe Highlights for 11)

Now get it on paper / ipad / laptop!

2.) BUDGET

If you have a vague “Yeah, I have like a few thou’ saved ya know, somethin’, could be cool, maybe like a trip to New York and LA?” Uhmm…no.

Girl – you need to plan, and you need to save, and an international trip needs some serious saving. If you are visiting relatives in the UK and they can put you up for a week, feed you and take you to pubs, then your flight is probably your biggest concern. If you’re planning on a trip to the East, you’ll need to worry about flight & visa costs, travel between each country and decent accommodation, although your food & general spending is a lot less.

Meet a travel agent, discuss your general budget and let them guide you to the best experience you can afford. Speaking of travel agent…

3.) DIY vs TRAVEL AGENT

Ok, most people these days will say you can book everything online – and yeeess, you probably can, but you might end up with a 2 star hotel in Bangkok (ie: cockroaches in the shower) and a 45hour flight reroute. Or, you can go with an agent (who actually gets discounted rates and then adds a commission, thereby giving you a relatively similar rate – and often less – than what you would have paid on line.

Obviously, it’s all relative. If you’re just deciding on a 5 day break up the coast, then by all means book online. But if it’s an involved holiday that includes flights & transfers – check out a decent and reputable agent to help you.

4.) TIME TO GO

As I mentioned, we all have that thing called Annual Leave. And yes while we often split it up all over the year going on small breaks, sometimes it’s actually worth it to capitalise on two weeks out of the office. Some good ideas:

  • Look at the public holidays in the year – can you manage to save a few days by booking your holiday around that?
  • Are you expected to be anywhere in the year? Ie: a wedding / birthday / Christmas with the family? Plan around this.
  • Look for cool local events that can make a normal weekend a fun getaway and maximise your travel experiences.
  • Always check out the seasons / weather of the destination you’re planning to go to, and WHEN you’re planning to go. Seriously!

5.) SAY GOODBYE

Once you’re on that plane or in that car, leave your daily work stresses behind! This is about YOUR trip, your holiday, your life. Enjoy it, look forward to it! 

Turn off your work email notifications, absorb your journey and adventure to the utmost – it will keep you refreshed for longer and surprisingly, give you more longevity when you return home.

And those are just SOME travel tips from The Good Girls Guide, ensuring that your adventurous travel spirit is not dampened with once a year trips to Hermanus or Umhlanga. Go forth and be excited!

Travel Tips for the Single Woman

A whole world to see! | source here.